A survey carried out of youth between the ages of 12 – 20 living in the Raglan area has revealed that youth can be agents of change instead of targets to be changed.
This survey was undertaken as part of the Social Sector Trials, which supports young people of Raglan to live in a community where they are recognised, valued and supported to fulfil their potential and aspirations.
The survey highlighted that our youth are feeling more isolated, and disconnected from our community. We teach our youth about being respectful, taking responsibility for their actions and accepting consequences, which are all very important but equally important, is community responsibility.
The youth who completed the survey felt like Raglan was set up for and only valued tourists. They believe that the majority of shops, cafes and restaurants cater for the tourist market or high socioeconomic families and do not take into consideration their needs. It was obvious from the comments that the youth of Raglan do not have easy access to go to Hamilton and they would like an opportunity to get what they need to get in Raglan.
Some things Youth would like to see in Raglan is a youth hub, more jobs for local people, especially school leavers and school students, shops that they can afford like in Ngaruawahia or Huntly, free Wi-Fi and Maori signs so the town has a more of a bicultural feel.
The main problems that youth face in Raglan were smoking, drug and alcohol abuse bullying, as well as 17% of those surveyed felt like they had no one to go to in a time of crisis. At Raglan Area school as part of the solution we have created meaningful youth leadership roles where the youth voice, visibility, and power are connected with the school and their community.
We are committed to achieving “connectedness”, a term used to describe a healthy, protective relationship between youth and the environments in which they grow up. It is increasingly clear that opportunities to experience a sense of place, belonging, and trust during adolescence promotes wellbeing – not just for individual youth, but also for the environments in which they live.